F1 Fanatic round-up: 11/10/2010

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Hope you all enjoyed the race, if not the early start. Let us know what you got up to with the rest of your day in the comments below.

Here’s today’s round-up:


Teams say postponement inevitable (Autosport)

??Ross Brawn says Formula 1 may have to accept that there is nothing it can do to prevent a repeat of the Japanese Grand Prix qualifying postponement, if such bad weather ever hits an event again in the future.

??’It is hard to imagine how we could cope more effectively with these circumstances,’ said Brawn. ‘We have two types of tyre, and the deep groove wet is the best we can do.

??’And with a car that weighs less than 700kg, with the size of tyres we have, there is a limit to what we can do. You saw the safety car going around today and that struggled. So I don’t think anything else could be done. The decision [to postpone qualifying] was right and I don’t think there is anything we can do to change these cars under these circumstances.’??

Teams expect Korean GP to go ahead (Autosport)

??Formula 1 teams are now fully expecting the Korean Grand Prix to go ahead in a fortnight’s time, despite doubts earlier this month that the event would happen.??

Brawn: Flexi-tests may need tweaking (Autosport)

??F1 teams and the FIA should consider further ramping up the flexible bodywork tests if there is a belief among technical chiefs that some outfits are still able to run their front wings close to the ground.

??That is the view of Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn, who thinks the return of talk of flexi-wings in the paddock should be used as an opportunity for the sports’ competitors to agree among themselves if something needs to be done to stamp out the suspicions.??

Michael Schumacher ‘will continue as Mercedes driver’ (BBC F1)

??Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes team have rejected reports he could lose his drive at the end of this season and take up a management role at the team.

??There have been claims the German could step down and be installed as Mercedes GP’s sporting director after a season. But Mercedes sports boss Norbert Haug denied this to BBC Sport.

??’There is more credibility in Norbert Haug becoming an F1 driver than in Michael Schumacher becoming sporting director of Mercedes,’ said Haug, 58.??

Red Bull team principal believes Jenson Button was a sacrificial lamb (Telegraph)

??Red Bull team principal Christian Horner suggested on Sunday night that McLaren may have been using Jenson Button as a “sacrificial lamb” to help Lewis Hamilton in the Japanese Grand Prix, although the strategy failed to pay off when Hamilton developed gearbox trouble.??

A tough day at the track (Renault F1)

??Our Japanese Grand Prix was certainly a shorter race than we expected. Seeing both cars retire so early on was gutting for the entire team and left us all feeling flat and frustrated. It was a cruel way to end such a promising weekend and robbed us of what would surely have been an epic battle at the front.??

Jenson Button Q&A: Korea will be better for McLaren (Formula1.com)

??Q: Three races to go: do you think that your car will become competitive enough to still be a serious contender?

??JB: I don’t know. We are working as hard as we can and bringing as many improvements as we can. We should be competitive and probably have an advantage in Korea. Then we should be in good shape.??

Comment of the day

The 2010 Japanese Grand Prix was anything but dull, with five drivers out before the end of the first lap – including Di Grassi’s accident during the installation lap. But were you happy with the coverage?

Daffid says:

F1 coverage is beyond a joke – how many laps before we got a shot of Kubica’s wheel coming off? How many decent replays or different angles did we get of the start?

Bernie should sort out the fundamentals before worrying about HD.

From the forum

Lee McKenzie verdict..?

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailing me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

On this day last year it was announced that Kamui Kobayashi was to make his F1 debut behind the wheel of a Toyota the following week in the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Japanese driver replaced Timo Glock who was injured during qualifying at Suzuka a week earlier. At the time he was reigning GP2 Asia champion and had finished 16th in that year’s GP2 championship for DAMS.

He has since made a huge impression on the Formula One world, with highlights including finishing sixth at this year’s British Grand Prix and his clever tyre choice and later move on Fernando Alonso to finish seventh at the European Grand Prix.

At his home grand prix this weekend, Kobayashi started from 14th on the grid but a series of gutsy overtaking manoeuvres on Jaime Alguersuari (twice), Adrian Sutil, Rubens Barrichello and team-mate Nick Heidfeld, led to an impressive seventh-place finish.

But he has also failed to finish eight out of the 16 races so far this season.

What’s been your favourite Kobayashi moment so far? Have your say in the comments below.

78 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 11/10/2010”

  1. Coverage has been good at other races they just didn’t seem to get on top of things quick enough at suzuka.

    1. Agree. FOM coverage in general has been much improved this year, however today was an off-day. I wonder, does Fuji-TV still run the World Feed here? I know they used to be the exception to FOM’s exclusive management of the feed, is that still the case?

      Also the 480i pictures that continue to be fed worldwide is an ongoing annoyance, every other race is broadcast at 576i minimum, it’s a noticeable difference.

      1. Yeah, there are a couple of races every year where the local television station runs the feed rather than FOM. Japan is one – it’s always very noticeable, especially if there is a Japanese driver in the field.

        I remember watching the start of the 2005 race. Rather than focusing on the battle at the front, for some reason we were treated to the image of Takuma Sato trundling into the gravel at turn one….

      2. I am not sure i agree with you on the FOM coverage (altough the other event not done by them, Monaco, was not much good either), remember Bahrain, where the little action we had was completely missed?

        I think this is about the 5th event this year where coverage was below par for me. They did take it a step further though with following Sakon around and making everyone have to first guess for 5-10 minutes where Kubica went and then wait for some idea of what happened for another time.

        1. Still it’s almost unbelievable where on-board cameras have all gone?
          For today’s standards it’s below acceptable level.
          And yes, I am annoyed when they show japanese drivers when real action is somewhere else far in the front.

      3. The Japanese 480i broadcast *is* rubbish. This is the country that leads the world in customer technology, and they chuck out F1 in extremely-low-def. Can’t wait until next year’s HD.

        I used to think it was my eyes not-really-working at silly-o’clock in the morning, but since I got a decent TV it’s obviously not.

        1. I personally like the different broadcast quality of the Japanese broadcast. You can tell it’s the Japanese Grand Prix. It adds a little bit to the atmosphere.

    2. they didn’t have to show Yamamoto’s pit stop and his battle with a Virgin and a Lotus at the beginning tho…

      there was another Japanese doing a lot better…

      1. The battle was OK to me, the rest of Sakon was a bit much and they did mis a lot of the action after the start, as well as Kubica dropping out and no good coverage of Rosberg.

  2. I dont think Horner is correct, Button was just on the wrong strategy. I think they kept him out on hards for too long, but they weren’t the only team to do that. In the end Hamilton made the strategy work, he was fast enough to catch Alonso on the same tyres after all.

    1. i was thinking the same as Horner as the RBR cars were getting closer to Button but that never really happened in the end, would have worried them if it did though, trouble was Alonso was still in front of Lewis.

      1. I had this very same thought but for it to really work he had to stay out longer to let Alo and Ham get closer and force them to try overtake but just as Alo started to get to a point he might start thinking of setting up for a strike Button pitted.

    2. Button had to gamble. it was the only way of getting on the podium.

    3. Horner is just playing games as usual. Why he the feels the need, I don’t know.

    4. I think the strategy might have had more credibility if not for the SC coming out right at the start.
      That made quite a lot of laps where the tyres were conserved instead of degradating to allow Jenson a good run on the Hards afterwards. And the speed just was not there in those hards.

  3. Favourite Kobayashi moment by a mile is when he passed Heidfeld, and Crofty said “he shouted Leeroy Jenkins and off he goes!”


    1. Haha that reference was completely new to me! I’ve watched the video now though, it’s quite funny. ‘Leeeeeeeeroy Mmmmmyenkins!’

      1. if you thought that was good, search for “onyxia wipe animation”
        *not safe for work or other respectable places

        1. Now we find out who the secret WoW players are ;)

          1. actually, i never played WoW. video games for 30 years, but never WoW.

    2. Can someone explain that to me?

      1. I didn’t know what that was about either – but here’s two links to educated ourselves. It’s pretty funny actually.

        1. Leeroooooyyyy Jennnnkkiiins

          Awesome reference! :D

          Crofty just went up an extra notch in my book.

        2. Thanks for the link Maciek, very insightfull!

          I saw it allready has Kamui added to the wikipedia entry as well :-D

  4. Whatever they put in that redbull drink, Horner has to stop drinking too much of it.

    1. Just mind games from the bloke.

  5. My favourite ‘Kowasabi’ moment (as Martin Brundle inexplicably called him once during the race) was at Valencia when he nailed Alonso near the end of the race. One of my favourite drivers passing my least favourite one in his home race… priceless. And even funnier when Alonso started mouthing off after the race too!

    1. it’s got nothin to do with Kobayashi what i’m about to say, but in that race, what i loved the most, was when alonso’s engineer came on to say to him something like ‘he’s gone in second, and has come out second. That’s very unfair!’ talkin about LH. That was gold!!

      1. Hee hee, I found that amusing too

    2. “Kowasabi” was most likely Brundle’s humourous way of saying Kamui was hot today. “Wasabi” is Japanese horseradish, very spicy and hot. It literally brings tears to your eyes, it’s THAT hot.

      One cannot deny that Kamui spiced up things today, with his banzai overtakes in the hairpin. Hope next season sees continued improvement from his team.

    3. I thought he said “Kowa-bashi”?

      1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        11th October 2010, 9:35

        Thats what I heard as well,

      2. He said that as well, but that was at a different moment during the GP.

      3. a reference to ninja turtles’ “cowabunga”?

      4. No, he said Kowasabi and then later he called him Kobaybashi

  6. oh teh team orders!!11! a sports team attempted to use strategy instead of dumb luck to obtain a more favorable result. oh, the scandal! WHY, GOD? WHYYYYY??

  7. My favourite moment this year have to be those last laps drive of him in the Valencia circuit but overall the way he defended Button in 2009 Brazilian GP was quiet awesome, on his very fast day he won the heart of many F1 fans.

  8. It’s probably for the better that Petrov retired when he did. Renault have apparently identified the problem with Kubica’s car as being a lack of torque in the pneumatic air guns that attached the wheels. The end result was that the wheel nuts were not tight enough, resulting in the wheels coming free when under load – like at the hairpin or 130R. It’s the same problem that did Alonso in at the Hungarian Grand Prix last year. It’s likely that Petrov’s wheel(s) would have come off at some point.

    1. Wasn’t that also what caused Kovalainen’s crash at Catalunya two years ago (for McLaren, not Renault)?

      1. Kovalainen’s crash was caused by the wheel itself failing, rather than coming lose.

        McLaren initially talked about debris being to blame but eventually identified the cause as the wheel having not been prepared to the correct specification by a sub-contractor.

        1. Who’s crash am I thinking of, then? There was definitely a similar incident recently. Was it Hamilton’s at Catalunya this year?

          1. Hamilton’s wheel failure was pretty much the same as Kovalainen’s.

            Hamilton’s wheel looked loose though. I made this animation back then:

            It shows both the left and right (mirrored) wheels turning

    2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      11th October 2010, 9:36

      Hmm, that seems to be a problem for Renault twice in two years, they need to have a look at that and figure out a way to combat it

    3. Where did you dig that up. It sounds really worrying, and all can be glad we had the SC period, imagine that tyre coming off under race speeds!

      1. You mean like Rosberg’s did?

        1. Exactly! Having three cars crash out like that would have been a bit much (Rosberg, Kubica and possibly Petrov as well).

          I also had a feeling DiGrassi might have suffered something similar, it did seem his tyre was loose before any impact.

  9. Kobayashi punches well above his weight, and as I mentioned in the live blog, seems to show more racing intelligence than the last four Japanese F1 drivers combined. Let’s hope he stays that way next year…

    1. Will have to agree there he is one of the best Japanese F1 drivers in the last years for sure. Hope he maintain a drive next year even if only in a midfield car so we can see some more great spirited racing.

    2. it would be a shame if he wasn’t in f1 next year.

      1. He’s already got a Sauber deal for next year:

        Sauber retain Kamui Kobayashi for 2011

  10. ‘But he has also failed to finish eight out of the 16 races so far this season.’

    yeah but you should mention these were mostly mechanical retirements.

    1. Or you could look at it another way. He’s achieved this despite having one of the most unreliable cars on the track?

    2. I would argue about that being mostly mechanical retirements, at least 3 times were caused by his driving.

    3. Actually it’s half and half between accidents and car failures:


      1. statistically yes. but actually the China smash up was not his fault.
        also in Australia, we don’t know exactly what happened prior to the accident. from replays we can see his wing dropping down and getting lodged under his car. with no obvious cause.

        as you can see I like defending Japanese talent!

        1. Kobayashi said he had contact a couple off times before his wing came off.

  11. According to SpeedTVs Bob Varsh during the telecast, the feed was done by a different company than normally does the video and production of F1 Races.

    1. FujiTV always does the production in Japan. Almost all other races is done by FOA, the other one not done by them is Germany.
      It took horrible long time for them to catch that there was serious problems during the start. They followed the pack until half way through the lap until they finally showed videos of start line and not much of replays at all and then took some time before they caught that Kubica wasn’t where he should been and to show replay. Not very impressed this year over their coverage. But then FOM had as crappy coverage in Bahrain but otherwise they done a pretty decent job the rest of the year.

      1. i thought the 2 that produced the world feed themselves were japan and monaco.

  12. The end-of-race maneuvers at Valencia were my favorites up until this weekend. Now I have to say watching him pick off car after car at the same point on the track in what is by no means an easy spot (can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried that sort of move in racing games at Suzuka and wound up slamming into the car in front). He’s so damn gutsy, I can’t help but admire him. I really hope that either Sauber has a good enough car that he can be up front next year or that a top team picks up him. He’s really something fantastic behind the wheel.

    1. Problem with getting in a top team all those drivers become accused of boring drivers that can’t overtake. Well when your in a top car starting from first row there should be no need for overtake. Vet & Web this race didn’t overtake, they didn’t need to they controlled the pace stayed enough a head to be “safe” and pitted when they could get clear air in front of them. Same thing for Alo and Ham. Only difference was But who ran a different strategy which didn’t pay out and well he wouldn’t done overtake either unless Ham ended up with gear box problems. Then Mercedes was best of rest way behind the McL’s only threatening each others.
      Good qualy in a good car means “boring race”.
      Kinda unfair but I hope next year if he don’t get a Sauber driver I hope he get a ride in another midfield team so he will be in the pack and be given chances to overtake before and after pit stops.

      1. This isn’t always true. Drivers tend to prove themselves when placed in a situation where they have to overtake. Vettel has been a good example of this. Even in Canada you heard his team letting him know that he’s just gonna have to overtake someone rather than relying on strategy to do it in the pits. Meanwhile look at front-of-the-grid drivers like Kubica or Hamilton. When put in a position where they have to make it all work by actually passing on track, they tend to pull through. You can only hide behind a fast car for so long before you have to prove your racecraft. That is when the men are proverbially separated from the boys.

        1. Button has also gone to a overtaking tour when needed (although that did not happen much this year).

  13. Why happened to di grassi? Did the car have a mechanical failure or driver error?

    1. John Booth says:
      “We have studied all the information from his car and there is no indication of a failure.”

      So it seems it was driver error.

      1. It wouldn’t be the first time a driver had thrown his car into the barriers en route to the grid.

  14. Well Bleating Brawn certainly doesn’t like running in mid field does he.He is still carrying on about the RBR wings. They have passed all the FIA tests Ross. Face the facts….their engineers are smarter than yours!!!

    1. Did you read the article, before posting this?

      Actually Brawn says, they are probably within the limits of the rules, just better at it then the rest of the team.
      He goes on to say, that the teams should agree with the FIA on a better test anyway, to take away the constant doubts and questions from fans.

    2. Brawn’s point is that the tests aren’t working.

      1. True. They certainly are not. RBR are almost back to where they were…. wing almost scrapping the ground… its a joke.

        1. Well the wing tests actually weren’t changed at all. Just extended from 50kg with 10mm flex to doubling both (100kg and 20mm flex).

          Now if the front wing is at max speed there apparently is more like 300kg downforce. It’s pretty much pointless to check for flex at 50kg 100kg. Even at the slowest speed the cars do on track there is at least 70kg of downforce on each wing half.

  15. wasn’t it that Fuji TV used to always win the best F1 coverage? every year they use to come up with new technologies and shooting angles? i remember they were the first to introduce the Yellow Flag sector image on the track map (cant remember which year), as well as other advances. how can they not be on top form now with all the digital stuff going about… it was Ok for me, but it could be better.

  16. Kobayashi – I would like to cordially invite all those who had nothing good to say about him after his debut performances last year to stand up and take a bow.

    Yesterday he was great to watch, and even though passing Alonso sounds better than passing Buemi, it was the pass on the Toro Rosso at the last corner in Valencia that really stands out for me. Passing under breaking into a corner after a straight is one thing, but there he let the car carry more speed then usual through and cut Buemi off at the second bend. There’s a lot of banzai, kamikaze and samurai references flying around now, but this guy has some seriously solid racing instincts.

    1. *carry more speed then usual through and cut Buemi off at the second bend*

      …that’s badly written, but you know what I mean.

  17. I’m waiting for the “Haug to deputise in the Mercedes for Kimi to come back in 2012” rumours.

    I usually have no problems with the Fuji coverage but it looks like they did drop the ball yesterday. One thing though, I really miss the grainy picture we used to get, it was just a little special idiosyncrasy that added to the the excitement of being in Japan.

    My favourite Kobayashi moment? The overtake on Jenson Button in Abu Dhabi. The most impressive thing is the way he carefully measured it, exploring all the various ways around Button. It annoys me when people put it down just because he had a speed advantage, because that was only half the story.

  18. So now we know the real reason Schumi wanted his lucky number (quote from the autosport article on rain:)
    When asked what he believed would happen if qualifying could not take place on Sunday, Brawn said: “I think it is then done on numerical order, which we would not complain about! And Michael will be glad that he picked number three rather than four this year.”

  19. Favourite Kobayashi moment by far was him overtaking Alonso. Hilarious!

  20. Oh and his sideways overtake this last race round the corner!!

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